By the staff at Caring Across Generations. By caregivers, we don’t mean parents with children. We’re referring to the millions of Americans who are caregivers for aging parents, spouses, loved ones with disabilities, and any other family members or friends who require additional support and care to live independent, healthy lives. The numbers are dramatic: [...]
M: Maternity/Paternity Leave
Paid family leave combats poverty, gives children a healthy start, and lowers the wage gap between women and men by providing structural support to balance work and family.
Selena's baby boy, Connor, was born six weeks early. As Connor was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care unit, Selena found herself alone in a hospital bed realizing that she was going to go home well before her baby. "There was no way we could afford for me to take off more than we planned,” recalls Selena. So after Selena had the baby on Thursday, she was released from the hospital Friday, and was back at her desk on Monday morning. “It was the hardest two and a half weeks of my life,” she says recalling the ache of being away from her newborn son. More
Read more in our collection of stories from moms and dads across the country about the need for paid family leave.
Know the Facts
- Having a baby is a leading cause of "poverty spells" in the U.S. -- when income dips below what's needed for basic living expenses.
- In the U.S., 49% of mothers cobble together paid leave following childbirth by using sick days, vacation days, disability leave, and maternity leave.
- 51% of new mothers lack any paid leave -- so some take unpaid leave, some quit, some even lose their jobs.
- The U.S is one of only 4 countries that doesn't offer paid leave to new mothers -- the others are Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, and Lesotho.
- Paid family leave has been shown to reduce infant mortality by as much as 20% (and the U.S. ranks a low 37th of all countries in infant mortality).
What You Can Do
MomsBlogging on Maternity & Paternity Leave
In the spring of 2006, I received two phone calls while away from home at a conference. The first call informed me that my mother of 92 years would require a second amputation. The second call informed me that my younger son, a senior in high school, had been diagnosed with non-hodgkin’s lymphoma…cancer. My mother [...]
It’s November – a month many associate with Thanksgiving, the day next week when families and friends across the country will come together to celebrate the things they’re grateful for. But November is also National Family Caregivers Month, and tens of millions of women and men in this country who care for ill or older [...]
In recognition of National Family Caregivers Month in November, the broad-based coalition of organizations pushing for the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act are rallying online to call attention to family caregivers’ need for supportive workplace polices like the national paid family and medical leave program the FAMILY Act would establish. The effort is being hosted [...]